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Lionsgate, TWC settle ‘Precious’ suit

Weinstein Co. claimed they made a deal for Oscar contender

A lawsuit over the rights to “Precious” between Lionsgate and the Weinstein Co. has been settled.

“The matter was amicably resolved to both parties’ mutual satisfaction,” a Lionsgate spokesman said Friday.

The dispute stems from the February 2009 announcement by Lionsgate that it had purchased the film. The Weinstein Co. filed suits subsequently alleging that it had already made a deal for the title.

In September, a federal judge dismissed TWC’s suit against “Precious” producer Smokewood Prods. after Smokewood pointed out that TWC did not have a signed contract for a “Precious” deal.

The federal judge sided with Smokewood, pointing out that under the Copyright Act, the transfer of distribution rights demands “a signed writing from the copyright owner or its agent.”

“Precious” premiered at last year’s Sundance Film Festival, where it was represented by John Sloss and Bart Walker at Cinetic Media. Weinstein Co. subsequently alleged that the Cinetic reps made a deal for the film and then reneged when Lionsgate entered the picture.

Lionsgate released “Precious” domestically in November and grossed $47 million.

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